Are your children up to date with their immunizations?

REED CITY — Immunizations are one of the many things parents should think about when a new school year arrives, especially for students entering kindergarten, seventh grade or changing school districts.

School-aged children need to be protected against tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, meningococcal and chickenpox (varicella). The number of doses needed varies by age.

In January 2015, a school entrance requirement went into effect regarding non-medical immunization waivers. A parent or guardian who wishes to have any or all of the school-required immunizations waived for their child must meet with staff from a local health department to discuss the benefits of vaccines and potential risks of vaccine-preventable diseases. This rule does not take away the right to obtain a non-medical waiver. Immunization waivers for medical reasons must be obtained from a physician.

Parents are encouraged to call their physicians or the Central Michigan District Health Department to set up an appointment. CMDHD offers immunizations to those with and without insurance coverage. A small fee may apply; however, no child is turned away for immunizations based on inability to pay.

To view the immunization requirements for school-aged children, visit michigan.gov and search for “school immunization requirements.”

For more information, to set up an appointment for immunizations with CMDHD, or to discuss non-medical waivers, call:

  • Osceola County: (231) 832-5532 ext. 1510;
  • Clare County: (989) 539-6731 ext. 1214; and
  • Isabella County: (989) 773-5921 ext. 1405.